Chapter 9. Audio and Video

As we’ve seen, Cocoa and Cocoa Touch have a lot of support for displaying still images and text. The APIs also have great support for displaying video and audio—either separately or at the same time.

OS X and iOS have historically had APIs for displaying audiovisual (AV) content, but only recently did Apple introduce a comprehensive API for loading, playing, and otherwise working with AV content. This API, AV Foundation, is identical on both OS X and iOS, and is the one-stop shop for both AV playback and editing.

In this chapter, you’ll learn how to use AV Foundation to display video and audio. We’ll demonstrate how to use the framework in OS X, but the same API also applies to iOS.

You’ll also learn how to access the user’s photo library on iOS, as well as how to capture photos and videos using the built-in camera available on iOS and OS X.


AV Foundation is a large and powerful framework, capable of performing very complex operations with audio and video. Final Cut Pro, Apple’s professional-level video editing tool, uses AV Foundation for all of the actual work involved in editing video. Covering all the features of this framework is beyond the scope of this book, so we address only audio and video playback in this chapter. If you want to learn about the more advanced features in AV Foundation, check out the AV Foundation Programming Guide in the Xcode documentation.

AV Foundation

AV Foundation is designed to load and play back a large number of popular ...

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